LAHORE: Announcing an ‘all-party conference’ on the Model Town incident on Sunday, Pakistan Awami Tehreek (PAT) chief Dr Tahirul Qadri has backtracked from his earlier stance of forming a political alliance against the government.
“Forming any alliance or a grand alliance had never been my agenda,” Dr Qadri told the media after meeting leaders of various political and religious parties at PAT headquarters here on Thursday.
PML-Q leaders Chaudhry Shujaat and Pervaiz Elahi, who had signed a 10-point agenda and worked on forming an anti-government alliance for materialising the agenda along with PAT leadership in London on May 31, were also present during the media talk.
Section 4 of the agreement as accessed by Dawn on PAT’s official website after the media talk on Thursday reads: “In these circumstances, there is a dire need that all patriotic political forces and segments agree on a broader revolutionary agenda and wage a joint struggle for establishment of transparent and participatory democracy in Pakistan in the real sense.”
Backtracks on forming anti-govt alliance; calls APC on 29th
Whereas Section 8 of the agreement highlights the unanimity of views between both the sides on reaching out to other political forces to seek support for the cause. It says: “Demonstrating their complete consensus on the above-mentioned executive and administrative devolution plan and 10-point revolutionary, people’s agenda, Pakistan Muslim League and Pakistan Awami Tehreek have agreed to reach out to and enlist the support of patriotic political forces and segments and launch a countrywide revolutionary movement.”
Dr Qadri termed the alliance reports mere media speculations as discussions on the issue never took place at any point.
“Toppling the government has not been my agenda,” he stressed, adding that the struggle would continue until an end to the ‘system of cruelty’.
The PAT chief said that after consulting various leaders, he had called an APC on June 29 on a single agenda of Model Town tragedy when the unarmed citizens were murdered during the police raid. He said he would never retract from the agenda of eliminating the existing system, and said that a ‘peaceful fight’ would be fought for establishing a new system.
Mr Elahi indirectly denied Qadri’s claim by saying that the discussion on 10-point agenda had been postponed for the time being. Only the APC, he said, was discussed in today’s (Thursday’s) meeting.
Sunni Ittehad Council chief Hamid Raza also said only Model Town tragedy was discussed.
Awami Muslim League chief Sheikh Rashid had publicly and categorically stated a day ago (on Wednesday) after a meeting with Qadri here that a grand alliance would be formed within four to six weeks.
Published in Dawn, June 27th, 2014